non profit news

Domestic violence survivors encourage, empower others during conference in San Bernardino

Domestic violence survivors and their families banded together for an afternoon of healing, support and encouragement during the 2nd annual domestic violence conference: Arise & Conquer, hosted by nonprofit organization Divine Connections, HOPE (Hold On, Pain Ends) on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Enterprise Building in downtown San Bernardino. Domestic violence survivor Melinda Cuellar founded the faith-based nonprofit after she emerged from a harrowing and terrifying ordeal involving her ex-husband. Cuellar endured seven years of emotional, mental and physical abuse in her marriage. Six months after their divorce in 2015, her husband kidnapped her and held her hostage at gunpoint for several hours in her car. When he cocked his handgun Cuellar leapt from the car and a standoff with SWAT ensued. He was eventually apprehended, and later sentenced to 12 years. Cuellar, a mother and grandmother, became a Certified Domestic Violence Advocate and through her organization, hosts support groups monthly in San Bernardino for victims and survivors of domestic violence. Additional services include education, clothing and toiletries, court and advocacy support, referrals and mentoring. Cuellar and her DCH team, all of whom are survivors, created…

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